Jan 24, 2021
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If the degree has dropped. Why the cold season is dangerous for cores

Winter is a particularly difficult time for hypertensive patients and heart patients. At this time of year, nature itself is working against them.

In a large study of the northern regions of the world, which was carried out by Canadian scientists, it was found that a decrease in the average annual temperature for every 10 ° C was associated with a decrease in the life expectancy of men by 6 years.

A study by Swedish physicians from Lund University showed that the number of heart attacks begins to increase as soon as the temperature goes over 0 ° C. And the lower it gets, the more often people have heart attacks and other heart attacks. In addition, other weather factors, such as strong winds, short daylight hours in winter, and high air humidity, also influenced the occurrence of such attacks. Most of the patients who had such problems were hypertensive. And this is understandable: an increase in pressure helps the development of heart attacks and strokes.

Weather factors and health

“Everyone knows very well that cold weather contributes to the development of respiratory diseases and provokes their exacerbation, if they already exist,” says cardiologist, head of the department of hospital therapy No. 1 of the Moscow State Medical University, Professor Yuri Vasyuk. “It is less known that winter weather and cold temperatures can have the same negative effects on hypertension and cardiovascular disease. These weather factors contribute to an increase in blood pressure, the development of hypertensive crises, heart attacks and strokes. And in people prone to hypertension, the disease is often diagnosed for the first time in the winter. Against the background of cold weather, headaches begin to bother them more often, “fog” in the head, “sparks” and “flies” before the eyes and other symptoms of high blood pressure appear. As a result, they go to a doctor, and they are diagnosed with hypertension.

Physicians understand the physiological mechanisms that cause an increase in blood pressure in the winter. They are associated with maintaining a normal human body temperature. To provide it and avoid hypothermia in cold weather, the heart is forced to work harder, and the superficial vessels are narrowed to reduce heat loss through the skin. Differences in temperature and atmospheric pressure, typical for our winters, especially in recent years, also have a negative impact. They are really dangerous for elderly people suffering from hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.

In addition to meteorological factors, dietary habits and behavior in winter play an important role. Unfortunately, this season people consume more fatty and salty foods, and physical activity becomes less. Fatty foods are thought to help keep you warm, but in reality, they do far more harm than good. It promotes the progression of atherosclerosis, and an excess of saline increases pressure, promotes the development of edema.

It is very bad that many are less active in winter. You can’t lock yourself in your apartment, as older people often do, you need to walk more often, devote more time to physical activity. Moderate exercise is very beneficial at any age.

Despite all this, we underestimate the harmful effects of cold on health. But in serious and large studies conducted in Great Britain, it was found that due to cold weather in this country from 30 to 40 thousand people die prematurely. We did not have such studies, but given our harsh climate and long winter, we can assume that these figures will be at least no less.

The conclusion is obvious. People with hypertension and heart disease in winter need to carefully monitor their blood pressure and follow the treatment. If necessary, it is necessary to adjust the therapy – to increase the dose of drugs or add new drugs (this must be done together with the doctor). It is very important for emergencies to always have drugs on hand to quickly reduce blood pressure in order to prevent the development of a hypertensive crisis. Usually, drugs with captopril are used for this – 1/2 or 1 tablet is chewed and kept under the tongue until completely absorbed. You can also use drugs with short-acting nifedipine, but they have more side effects. ”

The morning is wiser than the evening?

It is also extremely important to take your blood pressure medications at the right time. Previously, when you had to drink them 3-4 times a day, it was easier – split the time into equal intervals and swallow pills. Today most medicines are long acting and they can be taken once a day. But when to do it: in the morning or at night before bedtime?

Recently in the leading cardiology journal of the European Union (European Heart Journal) published a large study of Spanish scientists, which unequivocally states that hypertensive patients should take drugs before bedtime. To come to this conclusion, a large group of scientists from Spain monitored 19 thousand hypertensive patients for 6.3 years.

It turned out that those who took the drugs at night had a better blood pressure decrease and plus 40-60% less frequent myocardial infarctions, strokes, heart failure, surgery to install stents into the heart vessels and death from cardiovascular diseases. The authors come to a definite conclusion: taking drugs to lower high blood pressure before bed is preferable to the morning, at the beginning of the day. What do domestic experts think about this approach?

“The research of Spanish scientists is interesting, but its results cannot be made absolute,” says Yuri Vasyuk. – The fact is that all people with hypertension can be divided into 3 groups. In the first, most of these patients, the pressure at night is 10–20% lower than during the day. But in one third, it does not decrease enough at night (group 2) or even rises even more (group 3). And for the last two groups, it is better to take drugs at night – they will smooth out a night rise in pressure or an insufficient decrease in pressure during sleep. This prevents strokes and heart attacks, which such patients often have in the morning. If the increased pressure during the day decreases enough during sleep, then the drugs are best taken in the morning. They will extinguish the rise in pressure during the day caused by physical activity, stress, etc. But in order to determine what type of hypertension a patient has, it is necessary to conduct long-term monitoring of pressure, and preferably within 48 hours. This will help to accurately determine the daily pressure profile and correctly, taking into account individual characteristics, determine the time of taking antihypertensive drugs. ”

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